Nate was, admittedly, almost glad to be back at Parish after the end of winter break. Don't get him wrong, he loved the time off of school, but there was always a catch to it: being at home with his family for the entire break. He loved them, of course, but it wasn't always smooth sailing. On the contrast, the house was usually filled with a loud chaos. His younger brothers, Tommy and Leon, had been been at each other's throat for a solid three days about some issue Nate couldn't even remember, and his older sister Beth was pissy about the fact that somebody had used up the rest of her nice shampoo that she had bought with her own money. Even with his oldest brother staying at college for the entirety of the break, the house was still full of people, and without classes to give them a break from each other, the tension had started to rise.
As a result, when his mom had dropped him and his sister off this morning, Nate had all but jumped out of the car, barely offering either of them a goodbye before heading into the school. It's not like there was anybody he was excited to see or talk to this morning. In fact, the usually talkative Nate would be fine with silence this morning, or to at least talk to somebody he wasn't related to. No matter what was waiting for him inside, it likely was unrelated to his family, and he was grateful for whatever would come his way.
Once he got inside, and out of the flow of students entering, he took a moment to lean against the nearest locker and catch his breath. Even the hum of conversation in the hall was comforting to him for the sheer fact that he didn't recognize any of the voices, and that he couldn't hear people screaming at each other over petty squabbles.
He stood there for a moment, closing his eyes and taking in the atmosphere. After a few moments, however, he got the sense that somebody might be watching him. Cracking his eyes open, he noticed a boy standing in front of him. It took Nate a second to realize that he was leaned against a stranger's locker, and considering how the boy was hovering in front of him in silence, there was a good chance that this was probably the guy who owned said locker.
"Oh, uh, sorry," Nate said, stepping out of the way of the locker. "This is yours, isn't it? I didn't mean to get in your way, dude, sorry."
As Nate shifted out of the way, he paused, a little awkward. Was this a moment to introduce himself? Well, it couldn't hurt, he thought, so he stuck out a hand as if to shake the other boy's. "I'm Nate," he said.